The iPhone 14 received a major redesign, seemingly making it the most repairable iPhone to date.
According to a new teardown by I fixed itThe iPhone 14’s internal architecture has been upgraded to fundamentally change the phone’s interior.
“Apple completely redesigned the internals of the iPhone 14 to make it easier to repair,” said iFixit writer Kyle Wiens. “It’s not at all visible from the outside, but it’s a big deal. It’s the most significant design change to an iPhone in a long time.”
Can you see the hole on the logic board alone? thank you @CreativeElctrn, you can! Rip SIM Reader 😢
— iFixit (@iFixit) September 21, 2022
The iPhone 14 was released just 4 days ago on September 16, 2022, and its new features and exterior changes are so minor that many are directly comparing it to the iPhone 13. However, there is a different story underneath the incident
iPhone 14 now opens from the front And Back with a smooth midframe, accessible screen and removable rear glass. This new midframe required a complete redesign of the old iPhone architecture.
“Apple didn’t mention the secret redesign in their keynote,” said Wiens. “If reviewers had taken the phone apart, they would have discovered this… It’s an upgrade that the best tech reviewers in the world haven’t noticed.”
Over the years, Apple has flip-flopped between front and rear openings, each with pros and cons. Easy front access makes screen replacement much easier, but changing batteries or other internal components is much more difficult. Rear access is the opposite – easy internal access at the cost of a complicated screen replacement.
The new midframe seems to be the solution. The iPhone 14 back glass is secured using just 2 screws and a single connector, and with much less aggressive glue, it makes taking the phone apart even easier. The best part? The same two screws also remove the screen, so you only need to unscrew 2 screws to access both the front and back.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
Additionally, new electromagnetic interference contacts connect to contact points spaced across the rear panel, continuing the grounding that was previously soldered. iPhone 14 also adds an upgraded camera, satellite SOS and other improvements. Unfortunately, there are still old “system configuration” barriers.
Apple has long tried to control iPhone repairs by using software to limit the use of aftermarket parts. However, Apple recently opened self-service repair stores, making repairs a bit more accessible.
However, the back glass of the iPhone 14 requires activation after installation. It’s a hindrance that makes repairing your iPhone 14 a bit more difficult – a real shame considering the significant strides made with the phone’s architecture that it’s still an issue.
Still, the iPhone 14 is now the most repairable iPhone ever… even if progress is still being made. A note, though: iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models still use the older architecture.
Want to read more about iPhone 14? Check out our comparison of the latest iPhone 14 models and get up to speed on the iPhone 14’s lack of a SIM-card tray.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.